Monday, May 23, 2016

Couscous & Lentil Salad

On the weekends, the last thing you want to do is spend so much time in the kitchen making a full meal. I do this during the week and usually we eat out on the weekend, but that gets really expensive really quick. Plus who doesn't have the usual argument about where do we go? What do we eat? I don't know you pick, what do you crave? I'm sure you all have been there.

We had leftover couscous and lentil that I made during the week and decided that I would somehow make that a quick and painless full lunch. This dish is usually made with wheat and lentil, but I couldn't find the wheat at the store and haven't made a run to the Middle Eastern store lately.

Here's the original recipe for that, just replace the wheat with couscous as they are cooked the same or you can use wheat!


You'll need:

Cracked wheat #1 or #2- You can get this at a Middle Eastern store or at any grocery store you'll find boxes to make Tabbouleh, just use the wheat in the box and not the spice packet.

Green lentils
Olive Oil
1 Clove of garlic

You cook the lentils in water with the clove of garlic and a little salt for about 10 minutes or until almost done. In a large deep pan, add a little bit of water and the wheat, add the lentils with a little bit of the lentil water, salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Taste it, it should be soft but not mushy. You'll love it! I also make a cucumber, tomato, cilantro salad with lime, salt and plain yogurt. It's the perfect combination! The creaminess of the salad with the wheat. 


For this salad you'll need:

Red onion
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

I was craving some sort of hearty salad, so I peeled and sliced a cucumber very thinly, diced a tomato, sliced a red onion and added mint and cilantro along with the juice of a lime, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can even add some Feta cheese and olives! It was so filling and so delicious that it was the perfect lunch. We have been trying to avoid eating meats too much, and this one was perfect for that. Super healthy too!

Let's conquer Monday friends!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Working Mama + Toddler In Daycare

You know that dreaded daycare phone call you get when you're at work, the one you don't want to get, you don't expect, and when you see it, your heart starts racing and a million things go through your head? Yes, it's happened to me more than once. More than I ever want to experience.

Now with another baby on the way, being a full time working mama seems harder and harder to grasp everyday. I hate those calls. Jack says hate is a strong word, but I do, I hate them.

When I hear my phone vibrate on top of my desk, the worst always comes to mind. My son is hurt. Something happened to him. What is it? Did he fall? Or maybe he has a fever? He threw up? Those actually aren't as bad as the ones I've received where the teacher on the other end of the line sounds nervous, and you immediately know something is wrong. Shit, what happened?

I was actually on my way to lunch not too long ago when I got one of the dreaded phone calls. I answered nervously and as soon as I heard his teacher I knew something was wrong. The first thing she said was, "Elliot is okay" my heart started pounding in my chest. He had been jumping on his little cot where he takes his naps and landed right on the corner of it head first. Ugh. He's bleeding, she said, but she put an ice pack on it for the swelling. Swelling? Shit. I call my sister and of course, like in every other situation, she drops everything and goes to pick him up. Thank God I have her. She sends me a picture and it looks pretty bad, a bump with a cut the size of a golf ball, but he looks happy to be with her and my heart and body relax. I don't have to leave work this time.

I go pick him up from my sister's and hug him and kiss him while he tells me all about his accident. He tells me he has a "coco" (slang word in Spanish for a bruise or cut) a million times and I hug him and kiss him a million times.

This isn't what I want to talk about though. I want to talk about the life of a toddler in daycare and in turn, my life as a working mom.

I know I have mentioned time and time again (probably too many times) that being a working mama is hard. For me personally, the hardest part of my day is when I drop Elliot off in the morning. I try to sound so excited that he's going to "school" and how he's going to have a great day and learn so much while playing with his friends. Inside, I'm hurting thinking to myself, I don't want to go to work, I want to stay with my son!

It has taken me a while to come to terms (not entirely) with the fact that me staying home is just not feasible right now. I'm okay with that. Most of the time. I still have my days where I wish I could, but here is where I start to think about all of the pros that have come from having Elliot in daycare.

He has developed so much as a little boy that he leaves our mouths wide open with that he says and does. He has learned so much! Aside from social skills, he's in a Toddler School Program where they go through a book with the teacher and they learn about everything. ABC's, numbers, counting, colors, shapes, animals, you name it. He loves doing homework! Huge plus. We will be driving down the street and he will start counting school buses, or trees or birds and I am so thankful for that. It makes me feel at peace with the fact that I am away from him for eight to nine hours a day.

He also has a strict schedule, he eats and sleeps at the same time everyday. The biggest pro for me is that he loves his teachers and his teachers genuinely love him. I see that when I drop him off and pick him up. He also loves his little friends and waves bye to all of them when we leave. He listens more and understands what he needs to do when something is asked from him.

I also love that my job is flexible enough where I can leave if I have to and I am so so grateful for that. I have spoken to my boss about how I absolutely love my job, but my family will always come first no matter what, especially with me being one of the only women with small kids in the company. He understands.

What does need to catch up with the times is paid FMLA. We are one of the only countries where we only get twelve weeks and they can be paid or unpaid depending on your employer. In my case, they are unpaid and I have to try to save as much vacation and sick time as I can for my maternity leave. That really irks me. Canada gives mothers a year. A year! Germany gives them THREE years! We are so behind when it comes to quality of family and life. That makes me sad and angry! Hopefully this changes soon! Before this baby is born if possible. ;)

For now, I make the best out of my situation and always try to look on the positive side of things. I also know those calls from daycare are inevitable and "cocos" would happen at home as well. No, I'm not with Elliot as much as I want to be, but when I am, I spend quality time with him and I know he appreciates that. I also tell him that mama has to go to work because daddy and I want to be able to afford what he needs. I'm sure he doesn't understand that quite yet, but he does know that in the mornings he has to go to school because mama has to work, but "you will pick me up right mama?" Of course my baby, mama will always be there to pick you up!

Have a great Friday friends!

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Truth About My Pregnancy (Five Things Friday)

Instead of writing about five things I'm liking this Friday, I will tell you about five things that are very different in my second pregnancy.

Obviously every pregnancy is different, but just how different? Let's see.

1. Morning sickness (aka ALL day sickness)- This has been the biggest difference with this pregnancy. I was sick ALL day everyday for about sixteen weeks and still get a little nauseous in the afternoons sometimes. It was by far the worst I've ever felt! I'm so glad I'm over it for the most part. I was sick only a few times with Elliot and by twelve weeks, it was completely over.

2. Tiredness- I am tired 24/7. I remember being tired with Elliot's pregnancy, but only for the first trimester then slowly gained my energy back. Plus we lived in a 500sq/ft apartment and cleaned it in about an hour. Adding a toddler to the mix isn't easy! Having a house to clean is exhausting! Working forty hours a week is also tough. Eternal exhaustion should be in the parent dictionary. Whinertown as well. ;)

3. Weight gain- I never really lost all of the baby weight I gained with Elliot's pregnancy (I gained a lot!), and that didn't help at all on this one. Besides the fact that I started showing way sooner, all of my weight gain has always gone to my mid section. I am so uncomfortable this time around since I am much bigger than I was with Elliot at this point! I've gotten a few comments about that and I know they're not ill- intentioned at all, but I still feel self conscious about it. I have been eating much healthier and I do feel so much better about that. It was free for all with Elliot's pregnancy.

4. Irritable- With Elliot's pregnancy, my hormones were in all the right places I guess, Jack says I was so nice and not hormonal at all (ha!). I agree with him. This time, I find myself getting frustrated easily with Elliot. Add all of the above mentioned points and that equals a very irritable me. I hope it gets better!

5. Miserable- All in all, I will be completely honest and admit that so far, I haven't been enjoying this pregnancy as much as I should. Don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic about our little addition, but I'm not enjoying what my body is going through as much this time around. I'm admitting this in hopes that there's a few of you out there who are on the same boat. Is this normal? Did you feel this way? Does it go away?

The one thing I am fully loving right now is that I get to feel this baby boy moving all over, and I can't wait to be further along for Jack and Elliot to feel him too. I also love that my body is carrying a baby and I know that once I have him in my arms, all of these feelings won't matter one bit. I know I will think back and laugh at this post! I'm looking forward to that. For now, I want to be honest about what I'm going through right now. I didn't want to admit it, but once I talked to Jack about it, I felt so much better. Oh the joys of pregnancy! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I Am Heart Shaped

For today's post, instead of giving you an update on my pregnancy, I want to tell you a story.

With this second pregnancy, I truly expected everything to go normal just as it did with Elliot's. His was a breeze compared to this one in every sense of the word. I was sick only a few times, tired yes, but mostly able to function and ate everything in sight- literally.

I know everyone says every pregnancy is different, and boy that couldn't be more true for me. Jack and I went to the very first sonogram to hear the baby's heartbeat and to get the first picture. I had both a belly and an internal ultrasound. I think I was about eight weeks pregnant. We heard the heartbeat then saw the little gummy bear, but not before the tech broke the news that I had a bicornuate uterus. Huh? A what?

When I was seventeen, I went to the doctor for a checkup and he had mentioned that I had a uterus shaped differently but never said how, or gave me any explanation. I left it at that.

Back with the ultrasound tech, I asked, what is that? He then mentioned that I basically had a split uterus or heart shaped as it is informally referred to. He double and triple checked, and yeap, he confirmed. I was taken aback because if I remember correctly, he was actually the same tech that I had when I was pregnant with Elliot! I'm not sure why it hadn't been discovered before.

He let my doctor know what was going on, but we didn't get to talk to him since he was called in to a c-section. We went in the following Monday and that's when we sat down with him and he explained my condition. We wouldn't know if my uterus is completely split in half or a true heart shaped one unless I undergo an MRI which is something that isn't in my plans. He also said that this pregnancy is considered high risk as with this type of uterus, the baby usually doesn't have enough room to grow, sometimes the pregnancy doesn't develop, or premature birth can occur. A bicornuate uterus is the product of a malformation when I was in my mom's uterus, isn't that insane? The human body is mind blowing!

That actually explains a lot now with Elliot's pregnancy. He was a little bit early and weighed only 5lb. 7oz. I had the worst contractions and couldn't control the pain; I had to undergo an emergency c-section. My doctor went back to Elliot's ultrasounds and we found out that he developed on the left side of my uterus and this baby boy is on the right side. Craziness I tell you.

I was so relieved when Jack told the doctor that we wanted to see this pregnancy as normal and not high risk, why have the added worry? I already delivered one healthy baby without having all of this information about my body. We already have so much to worry about as it is, we don't need or want any extra. We leave it in God's hands. The doctor agreed with us but said that I still needed to go see a specialist and continue to go till the end of my pregnancy. Just to make sure me and the baby are okay.

We had a scare where I had some spotting and cramping that lasted a few days, but after a quick visit to the doctor, both of us are doing great.

So there you have it, I have a heart shaped uterus that is carrying a second baby and so far so good, thank God!

Do any of you have this or any other condition that you found out about until you were expecting? A second baby nonetheless? :)

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